Police Use Rubber Bullets Against Oakland Protesters

| April 2003

Several anti-war protesters were reported injured this morning after police fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse about 750 demonstrators who were blocking access to a shipping company?s offices.

The incident marks the first use of rubber bullets by police against anti-war protesters since the Bush administration?s March 19 invasion of Iraq, reports Reuters.

Activists were protesting in front of the headquarters of American President Lines, which they claim is profiting from the Iraq invasion. Oakland Police spokeswoman Danielle Ashford told Reuters the shots were fired after the crowd refused to disperse. ?We gave our dispersal order, we gave them an order, we gave them plenty of time to disperse,? she said.

According to a Reuters photographer on the scene, police continued to fire on about 150 demonstrators who remained after the initial burst of shots. The status of the injured protesters, believed to be longshoremen, was not immediately known.

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